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USWNT Drops High Scoring Thriller Against No. 2 Argentina in FIH Hockey Pro League

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ANTWERP, Belgium – A rain saturated pitch saw the No. 13 U.S. Women’s National Team face No. 2 Argentina in their second match of the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League mini-tournament in Antwerp, Belgium. A high scoring contest, it was a thriller until the end when the game winner came with 2 minutes remaining as USA dropped the match 4-5.

The first threatening action of the game came 5 minutes in when Ashley Sessa (Schwenksville, Pa.) turned the right corner and was taken to the turf just outside the circle to earn USA a penalty corner. On the chance, Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) had her drag saved by Argentina goalkeeper Clara Barberi. In the 9th minute, each side converted a set piece goal. First Argentina’s Agustina Gorzelany buried it into the right corner but immediately after the restart and seconds later, Hoffman mirrored it into the bottom left. The quarter closed tied at 1-1.

After some static play, Las Leonas added two more penalty corner goals in the 20th minute. The first was through Gorzelany, again into the right corner. Next, Gorzelany fed Maria Granatto for a deflection into the net. USA didn’t panic and in the 24th minute, cut the margin after capitalizing on an athlete up advantage. A great passing sequence started with Hoffman in the back who threaded it through to Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.). She passed it off to Abby Tamer (Dexter, Mich.) who placed it across the goalmouth for Sessa to finish. Just before the close of the half, Beth Yeager (Greenwich, Conn.) was issued a green card as the score was 2-3.

USA defense was tested after the break, as Argentina quickly added three more circle entries, but tight pressure and didn’t’ allow a shot. Five minutes in, goalkeeper Barberi had an error on a clear that was picked up by Megan Valzonis (San Diego, Calif.) and she earned the United Eagles a penalty corner. The drag by Hoffman deflected off the flyer and was looping into the goal but was saved out of the air by the post player. On the resuming play, USA earned another set piece and this time Yeager put it into the net to even it at 3-3. In the 42 nd minute, Las Leonas made the most of a quick restart just outside the circle, when Julieta Jankunas fired it into the goal to make it 3-4.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter an undisciplined error started a series of Argentina penalty corners. Of the consecutive four chances, goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) made solid saves on all of them. In the 54th minute, USA tied it up when on the right baseline, Tamer floated it across the goal and it went in off the goalkeeper Barberi. As time ticked down, Argentina was in possession and notched the game winner in the 58th minute. Off a set piece and from the second castle, Gorzelany sent it down to Eugenia Trinchinetti who deflected it in off the right post. Las Leonas was issued a green card with 42 seconds to go but USA couldn’t make the most of the situation as the final score stood at 4-5.

Following the game, Argentina’s Eugenia Trinchinetti was named Player of the Match.

Today’s contest marked a career milestone as Lauren Wadas (Annville, Pa.) registered her first senior international cap.

(Photo by World Sport Pics)

The United Eagles return action on Saturday, May 25 to face Argentina again at 5:45 a.m. ET. All matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League can be streamed pay-per-view on Watch.Hockey for $4.99.

For more information regarding the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Pro League, visit the event page.

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